Thursday, January 27, 2022

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous announces retirement

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says crime dropped the lowest in over two decades. (Photo by Christina Haley.)

WILMINGTON — In a release sent Tuesday evening, the Wilmington Police Department announced that Chief Ralph Evangelous would officially retire from his position early next year.

Evangelous will step down on February 1, 2020, according to the Wilmington Police Department (WPD), closing out a career of nearly 50 years spent in law enforcement. Evangelous previously served n Southborough, MA, and then served as chief of police in Athol and Gardner in Massachusetts, and Temple in Texas.

Evangelous came to Wilmington in 2004 after the city fired Chief John Cease for a string of misconduct incidents, including improper use of a city vehicle and showing up to a crime scene while intoxicated.

According to WPD, “Evangelous is credited with numerous accomplishments and contributions to this community. Among those include completing the state of the art Police Training Facility to include an indoor shooting range, the downtown Police Headquarters, establishing the southeast Division Headquarters on S. College Road. Chief Evangelous is also responsible for leading the agency’s efforts in reducing Part 1 crime for several consecutive years to include historic lows in 2018 and 2019.”

“His passion about the well-being of Wilmington’s youth and has expanded the agency’s Police Activities League to include athletic and social opportunities for our city’s under-served children. And his interest in cutting edge technology led to the development of our real-time crime center, created to give officers real-time data while responding to calls. His push for officer safety helped to equip all patrol officers working in the field with the latest body-cameras, implemented Shotspotter — a gunshot recognition system and Predictive Analytics,” according to the release from WPD.

“There is no greater joy than helping people,” Evangelous was quoted as saying in the release. “I have been truly honored to serve this great community and hope that my service has helped to make our community better in some way.”

Evangelous said he plans to remain in the Wilmington area after his retirement. An interim chief or replacement has not yet been named.

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